A young child from Aurora, Illinois has reportedly become the first pediatric flu death in the state this season.
The Kane County Coroner, Rob Russell, told The Beacon News that the child, who has not been identified, died on Dec. 21 at Rush Copley Medical Center.
The child was reportedly a “healthy little girl,” he told the publication, but she contracted the flu and did not get better with rest at home.
Eventually, her parents took her to the emergency room. She reportedly “went unconscious” while she was eating a popsicle at the hospital, he said.
It’s not clear if she had received the flu shot but Russell told The Beacon News she was up-to-date on her vaccinations. He was unable to find any pre-existing medical conditions that may have been associated with her death.
The Kane County Health Department also reported a flu-related pediatric death in their 2018 Week 51 flu surveillance report.
“We are at the point of the season when influenza starts to increase and every year, frankly, it’s an epidemic.”
— Tom Schlueter
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends all children under the age of five should receive the flu shot, as they are at “high risk of flu-related complications.” Children six months to five years, even if they’re healthy “are at risk simply because of their age,” the CDC said.
“Anytime there is a child death, it is immensely tragic,” Tom Schlueter, a Kane County Health Department spokesman, told The Beacon News. “We are at the point of the season when influenza starts to increase and every year, frankly, it’s an epidemic.”
The girl’s death is one of 13 U.S. pediatric flu deaths in the 2018-2019 season, The Beacon News reported.
A spokesperson for the Kane County Coroner’s Office did not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment Friday.